Friday, November 6, 2009
i remember how maddening it was to hear the ignorant and hateful arguments of those opposed to the right to marry being extended to same-sex couples. they were all over the media, and though it was terrible to have to hear their crap, the public debate was essential to mobilizing the support that allowed the law to be passed and upheld.
not so in the united states, where public debate and activism has been a prelude to referendums, in which everyone gets to vote on whether the state should respect a minority group's rights or not. the right for same-sex couples to marry has been voted against in all 31 states where such referendums took place.
well, argentina is a pretty surprising country. you might have thought that gay marriage wouldn't even be on the agenda here, just like access to legal abortions seems to only be on the agenda of a few feminist activist groups and even fewer politicians.
but - surprise! same-sex MARRIAGE is actually being debated in congress in argentina right now. i say MARRIAGE in capital letters, because the current debate is not about civil unions, which are already legal in buenos aires and several other latin american cities, as well as in all of uruguay. this is about MARRIAGE - the all-important "marriage" that makes you a Family if you have entered into it.
hearing the arguments (spanish) of those opposed is difficult and ugly. but even more so than in canada, i feel that the public debate that accompanies the political process here may really help to educate people about the issues involved and start to shift public opinion. a public opinion, i should say, that is supposedly 70% (spanish) in favour of gay marriage, though i'm pretty suspicious about that number (or do i just not know ANY of the right people?).
i'll post again on this as things develop, and in the meantime i'll try to collect some good english-language links to share.
i also want to share this new blog i just found in spanish - maternidades L - by two argentine lesbian moms. they've got links to some great resources, including lesmadres, an organization of lesbian moms and future moms fighting for their political, cultural, social and legal rights.
also, though i'll be far away in my quiet little macondo, tomorrow is the 18th annual PRIDE PARADE in buenos aires. the march starts at 6pm in plaza de mayo. from 3pm on there will be lots happening. if you go, i'd love to hear about it!